Breakfast Potato Skins

Breakfast Potato Skins

They’re called Breakfast Potato Skins, but I could eat these anytime. Buttery baked potato with crumbled bacon mixed in, topped with an egg with a slightly runny yolk.  Simple, just a few ingredients and so good.

These potato skins are not limited to just these ingredients though. You can mix in an almost endless variety of chopped meats and vegetables.

Butter, Bacon and Potato

Some possibilities include:

  • sauteed greens, such as spinach, kale or chard
  • cheese
  • chopped broccoli
  • crumbled sausage
  • asparagus
  • vegetarian meat crumbles
  • fresh herbs
  • chopped fresh chile peppers
  • chopped fresh sweet peppers

The only limit is your taste buds.

Recipe: Breakfast Potato Skins


  • 2 medium russet potatoes, 8-9 ounces each, baked
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 large eggs


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.
  3. Scoop out the potato, leaving about a 1/4 inch in the skin so it holds its shape.
  4. Place the potato into a medium bowl with the butter, bacon, salt and pepper.
  5. Mix the ingredients well, then spoon the mixture back into the potato skins.
  6. Press the mixture into the skins, leaving a deep indentation in the center for the egg.
  7. Place the filled potato skins onto a baking sheet.
  8. Crack one egg at a time into a small bowl, then carefully pour the egg into a potato skin.
  9. Place the potato skins into the oven and bake for 20 – 23 minutes, or until the white is set.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)


Tri-Color Potatoes, Japanese Eggplant and Fennel in Wine Sauce

Sometimes vegetables get the short end of the stick. They are an after thought, if even thought of at all. Many vegetables are not familiar to people, so they will not buy them and cook them. I count eggplant and fennel among those.

See those lovely Japanese eggplants in the photo above. I am proud to say I grew them all by myself! My little backyard garden has been providing my family and I with fresh herbs, Tuscan kale, cucumbers, sugar snap peas and eggplant this summer.  There really is nothing better than picking something, rinsing it and eating it all within moments. And I know there are no dangerous pesticides on my vegetables, so I can feel good giving them to my family.

I recently planted some yams which had sprouted in my kitchen. I was a bit slow cooking them, so when they started growing some nice roots, I figured I may as well plant them and see what I get! I may plant some other potatoes too, since I can eat potatoes daily. Must be the Irish ancestors influence. . .

Speaking of potatoes, I received a sample bag of potatoes from The Little Potato Company, called the Terrific Trio. There were red, yellow and blue varieties mixed together. I had just picked some of the ripe eggplant, and wanted to cook them as soon as possible. Potatoes and eggplants together sounded tasty.

And then this arrived at my door. . .

Is this not the most gorgeous pot? It’s a Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast Iron 6 quart Dutch oven. Seriously, I have been dreaming of an enameled cast iron pot forever. Mind you, I have enough pots and pans to open a cook’s store, but I still coveted this particular piece of cookware.  Like some people dream of a red sports car, I dreamed of a red Dutch oven. Oh, and I’ll take a red sports car too.

Now I could cook my eggplant in style, with the additional of the fancy potatoes and some fennel. And wine. Lots of wine. As I always say, don’t cook with a wine you will not drink. I would recommend a lighter, fruity wine for this dish, one that is not too acidic.

Once the vegetables are cut, most of the work in done. The shallots are slightly caramelized, the fennel is softened, then everything else goes in to simmer.

Cover the pot, set the timer and walk away.And then you get this. . .

A colorful, flavorful and fabulous vegetarian main dish or side dish. Don’t be afraid to use vegetables with different textures and different colors. They will hopefully become staples on your dinner table.

Recipe: Tri-Color Potatoes, Japanese Eggplant and Fennel in Wine Sauce


  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound Japanese eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 pounds small potatoes
  • 2 cups white wine


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil over medium low heat in a large, deep pot.
  2. Cook the shallots for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized.
  3. Add the fennel, salt, thyme and pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the fennel is softened.
  5. Add the eggplant, potatoes and wine, stirring to mix well.
  6. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid.
  7. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.
  8. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the remaining butter.
  9. Adjust the seasoning if needed.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)


Cheryl D Lee on Foodista


* I received my dream enameled cast iron pot as part of a promotion sponsored by GigaSavvy Marketing

The Black Girl is Back!

Somehow, I have managed to not pull every hair out of my head this past week! Who knew moving a blog from one server to another could be so harrowing? Car accidents are harrowing, not blog migrations. Well, I have come out the other side, and I am a stronger woman for it! (OK, not really, but I like how dramatic that sentence reads.)

Last week I hopped on a plane headed to New York for a little relaxation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference. New York is the perfect place to hold a culinary conference, with the bounty of food there, from the street vendors making gyros to ultra high-end restaurants. While there, my blog was moved, got infected by a virus, died and was finally resurrected! (I must have Easter on my mind because that sure sounds familiar. . .)

I wanted to do a fabulous recipe for Easter, but that ball dropped as I was juggling all the other ones. This recipe was originally posted 2 years ago, but a good Leg of Lamb recipe is evergreen!

If you are a brisket fan, I wrote a guest post for The Shiksa in the Kitchen blog for #passoverpotluck. A diverse group of bloggers, both Jewish and not, contributed recipes for Passover. I did a Slow Cooker Brisket with Chipotle-Cranberry Sauce, that is not only good for Passover, but Easter or anytime.  Head over to Tori’s blog for a lot of great recipes, including my favorite pancake recipe!

Lemon-Oregano Lamb Marinade Ingredients


Although lamb is one of my favorite types of meat, I do not eat it that often. Whether it is a slow braised lamb shank, a succulent lamb chop or teeny lamb ribs, I like to eat it in all forms. But a nice roasted leg of lamb is always a special treat. Bone in or out, a leg of lamb is a roast often served at Easter dinner. Spring lamb signifies rebirth and renewal, not to mention Spring is when all those cute little lambs are born. I think lambs are so adorable, and you would think I would have a lot more guilt eating the darling creatures, but no. I am a true omnivore.

While browsing the aisles of my local Costco, something I do more often than my bank account likes, I found a boneless leg of lamb, all ready for the oven! It was trimmed and wrapped and calling my name. So into the cart it went, alongside the 500 rolls of toilet paper, 10 pounds of Sumatra coffee beans, multiple bottles of red wine and jumbo pack of Huggies pull-ups.

I was given a fabulous bottle of Lemon olive oil for Christmas, and decided to go really simple and just drizzle the lamb with the oil. Then I thought I should use up some of the abundance of Meyer lemons from my tree, so I zested a couple. Next thing you know my simple lamb idea was out the window, and garlic, oregano and red pepper were in. Oh well…

Lemon-Oregano Leg of Lamb

1/3 cup Lemon olive oil, or plain extra virgin olive oil

4-5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 TB fine Meyer lemon zest (I used a microplane zester)

2 tsp dried oregano, preferable Mexican

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

4 lb boneless leg of lamb, tied

2 lbs new potatoes (optional)

2 cups baby carrots (optional)

In a small bowl combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, oregano, salt and red pepper.

Chopped Garlic, Oregano, Crushed Red Pepper and Meyer Lemon Zest
Lemon-Oregano Marinade and Leg of Lamb

Rub the lamb with the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.

Leg of Lamb Rubbed with Lemon-Oregano Marinade

When you are ready to cook your lamb, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Place the lamb into a large roasting pan. I added whole potatoes that I tossed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper to the pan also. This is optional, but does take care of one side dish with not a lot of extra effort. I like “not a lot of extra effort.”

Leg of Lamb and Potatoes in Roasting Pan

Roast the lamb in a preheated 350 degree oven for one hour. If adding the optional vegetable, add your carrots now. You do not need to toss them with oil, just toss them into the pan.

Tossing a Few Carrots into the Pot

Continue to roast the lamb for another 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature measures at least 145 – 150 degrees for medium rare. If you like your lamb more done, roast until temperature is 160 degrees. Remember, meat continues to cook even after it is out of the oven and resting. Let the roast sit for 20 – 30 minutes before you slice it, so the juices have time to reabsorb.

A bold red wine pairs very nicely with this roast. Then again, a bold red wine pairs nicely with air if you ask me…

Roasted Lemon-Oregano Leg of Lamb

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Bacon Smashed Potatoes

Welcome 2012!  A lot of blogs, morning television shows, and other random people are talking about keeping resolutions, New Year-New You transformations, healthy recipes and the like. Well, not this gal.

I am hitting the ground running with a recipe all about smoky pork, silky soft potato and skin crisped by bacon fat! Oh yeah. . .

Recipes for smashed potatoes of all kinds can be found on the internet these days, because it is such a simple but pleasurable taste treat. You can roast them or fry them after smashing, depending on the flavor you want or how decadent you want to be. I guess I was feeling a bit decadent.

I recently went on a tour of Melissa’s Produce, and learned about all sorts of cool new products coming to the market near you!  They were kind enough to have samples of all sorts of things, and one product caught my eye immediately. . . Ruby Gold Peewee Potatoes. I am totally biased towards anything with the word Ruby in the title, as this is my kids name. Now that she is beginning to read I like to ask her to find a familiar word, and she always gets a huge grin when she recognizes her name on a book or package.


I quickly snatched up a bag (food bloggers and writers are quick to grab samples so you have to move fast) and toted them home. My friend Holland came by to drop off her super-cool Christmas present of homemade vanilla extract and a huge jar of vanilla sugar, and saw the potatoes. She mentioned recently having some smashed potatoes that had been fried in duck fat, and an idea was born. I didn’t have duck fat, but I sure do have a lot of bacon fat! When you make your own bacon, you are sure to save all the good rendered fat!


Chop up and few slices of bacon, and cook them until crisp in a large skillet. Remove the bacon and drain well on a paper towel. While the bacon is cooking, boil the potatoes about 10 minutes, or until they are fork tender.


Smash the potatoes with the bottom of a CLEAN glass.
Fry the potatoes in the bacon fat for 3-4 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Place the potatoes onto a serving dish, then sprinkle with the reserved bacon pieces. You can also sprinkle with a little course salt. I used a beautiful pink salt from Hawaii.  I also added a few fresh thyme leaves for an additional pop of flavor.
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Bacon Smashed Potatoes
This simple recipe is all about smoky pork, silky soft potato and skin crisped by bacon fat! A one or two bite pleasure, perfect for an appetizer table.
  • 1 pound Ruby Gold Peewee Potatoes, or other very small potato
  • 3-4 ounces thick cut bacon, chopped
  • to taste salt
  • optional fresh thyme leaves
Boil the potatoes for around 10 minutes, or until fork tender. Rinse with cool water, drain and cool.
While the potatoes are cooking, in a large skillet over medium low heat, cook the bacon until it is crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Reserve the fat in the pan.
With the bottom of a clean glass, smash the potatoes flat. Place them in a single layer into the skillet, frying them in batches. If needed, add more bacon fat or other oil to the skillet.
Fry the potatoes for 3-4 minutes or until they get a lightly golden color. Place them onto a serving platter.
Sprinkle the reserved crispy bacon pieces over the potatoes. If desired, sprinkle a small amount of course salt and some fresh thyme leaves for an extra layer of flavor.

Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 30 mins Yield: 1 pound

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Warm Potato Salad with Bacon and Fennel

Warm Potato Salad with Bacon and Fennel

A few months ago I entered this potato salad recipe in the weekly contest on Food52.  While this salad did not win, it did become an Editor’s pick, which is fabulous, since the editors of Food52 are Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs!  Both are very well established food and cookbook writers.  So I took a moment to pat my self on the back, then woke up and came back to reality.  I think my daughter yelled in my ear to get my attention. . .

I am a potato lover, and could eat them everyday.  I don’t, but I could.  Same goes for bacon.  So why not combine the two in a warm potato salad.  This salad was inspired by a neighbor of mine when I was a child.  The Baum family were immigrants from Germany, and Mrs. Baum made the best German potato salad.  I took my food memories of the dish, and fashioned my own warm potato salad.

Warm Potato Salad with Bacon and Fennel

2 pounds waxy potatoes
4 pieces bacon
2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, slightly chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

  1. Boil the potatoes whole, with the skin on. When done, drain well and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. At the same time you are cooking the potatoes, cook the bacon slices in a skillet, preferably not non-stick. Remove the bacon when done, drain on a paper towel, and cut into small pieces when cooled.
  3. Place the sliced cucumbers into a large bowl.
  4. Over medium flame, add the fennel, thyme, red pepper and dry mustard to the bacon fat. Stirring constantly, cook the spices for about a minute, or until fragrant.
  5. Carefully add the vinegar to the pan. With a whisk, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the sugar, and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the dressing emulsifies slightly.
  7. Pour the hot dressing over the cucumbers to pickle them slightly. Let the dressing and cucumbers sit while you slice the warm potatoes.
  8. Slice the potatoes about a 1/4 inch thick. Add them to the bowl with the cucumbers, and sprinkle with salt. (If your bacon is very salty you may want to omit the salt) Add the reserved bacon pieces, and toss the salad gently.
  9. Serve the salad warm or at room temperature.


Cheryl D Lee on Foodista